Interning @ Gabhart Investments

For the past couple of week’s life as an intern at Gabhart Investments has been quite exciting. In the month of June I was constantly trying to understand the business. Every day was something completely new from the day before and required my full attention. Through out July and up to this point lots of direct learning has occurred as opposed to the month of June where I constantly was struggling to understand our daily activities. Curtis began to notice I had learned a lot about the business and began pushing me in a new direction as an intern.

The last six week’s I’ve been able to learn some very important things about the business that not only pertained to interning at Gabhart Investments but to my professional career as well.

Goal setting is incredibly important for anyone trying to achieve anything; loosing weight, buying a car, start a business, etc. By not writing down what you want to achieve hinders the chances of those thoughts ever becoming reality. After realizing this fact I asked Curtis for some materials about goals and how to effectively write out my goals. For about a week I carefully wrote out my short-term and long-term goals. An important fact about writing goals is to be as specific as possible when writing out goals. I didn’t understand why I needed to be so specific only after my goals were written and there was no specificity, meaning there were no dates, details, and means of how to achieve the goals. Curtis eventually sat down with me and went through my goals to help refine and perfect my goals according to what I ultimately want to achieve.

Construction management was the second new skill learned over the course of the past six weeks. Understanding this aspect of rehabilitating properties is crucial. First it is necessary to create a scope of work for the project. The scope of work is created by carefully walking through the property and writing down everything that needs to be replaced, fixed, painted, etc. The gathered information is then uploaded onto an excel spreadsheet, which ultimately will be used as the instructions for what needs to be done on the project. Another part of construction management is scheduling the contractors and sub-contractors. Scheduling can be tricky because different trades may conflict such as painters and carpet installation. To make the work flow efficient it is important to create a critical path for a project in order for a project to be completed on time.

Another crucial skill Curtis insisted for me to learn was Supply management. For Bullrush and Agadir Curtis put me in charge of ordering all the supplies for the projects. Supply management consists of gathering information about what needs to be ordered, ordering the materials, coordinating the delivery, and securing the materials properly during the renovation. While walking through a property to create a scope of work you also are writing down what needs to be bought and how much of it. Once a list of what needs to be purchased and how much of it is created the next step is to choose the most appropriate items. Home Depot is an excellent resource for ideas, information, and delivery services. Initially I went to a local Home Depot and selected the items we needed. I walked through Home Depot for a couple of hours to get a good understanding of the products available and created a list of favorable products that can be used on other properties. The next step was to create an excel spreadsheet of the SKU numbers, quantity, and a short description of the items. Once the excel sheet was created I just had to send the information to Home Depot for a price quote. Unfortunately Home Depot at time is extremely difficult to work with because SKU numbers will be incorrect or prices don’t match to the advertisement online. Little mistakes made by Home Depot can really drag out the timeline for a project. When the price quote is given the order is placed and send to the indicated addresses. Finalizing the materials order and coordinating the delivery are two of the most difficult things to do in the beginning stages of a renovation in my opinion. Once the materials are delivered securing the materials is next. Many different contractors are working on the project and sometimes materials are stolen or lost. To ensure nothing is stolen or lost it is a good idea to buy double keyed deadbolt locks for the garage doors.

The past six weeks have been a great learning experience for me. Moving forward into the second half of August I feel comfortable in leading my own renovation project with the knowledge acquired from the summer. Even though I’m not an expert in this business I feel the best way to learn more is to start doing renovations myself. Hopefully by October my brother and I will be buying our own property to do a light renovation and sell after six months of living in it. Please give me some constructive feedback on posts and/or advice on where to buy properties for a first time homebuyer.

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Interning at Gabhart Investments

My name is Seth Struiksma I am one of the two interns at Gabhart Investments. The other intern, Anthony Espinoza and I have been interning for a month now. For the rest of my time with Gabhart Investments I’ll be writing weekly blogs updating and sharing about my progress, educations, and activities I have accomplished.

Interning for a company is an opportunity to explore a certain area one believes is of interest to them. This past spring a friend of mine, Sean Bascom, had the opportunity to intern with GII. After his time with GII Sean told me the company was looking for summer interns. He spoke about the company and what it is doing right now. Everything sounded great so I decided to check it out. Curtis interviewed me and a few weeks later I was interning with GII.

At first I wasn’t to excited to work for free, but after a couple of days I realized what I was learning was far greater than any pay I could receive.

Starting this internship I wrote out several objectives or goals I wanted to accomplish before the summer ended:

  • Understand how to estimate the amount of materials for a project
  • Learn how to value a property
  • Determine what needs to be replaced, fixed, painted, installed.
  • Understand a market
    • What’s selling
    • What price
    • Demographics
    • Learn how to sell a property and make a profit
    • Raise capital!!
      • Hard money lending
      • Attract investors
      • Learn how to find new deals
      • How to effectively market a project
      • Do my own project
      • What’s a good investment
      • Construction mgmt

Before the internship started I thought real estate investing combined many aspects of the real estate industry. I also thought it was a lot easier than it really is. After a month of interning my views have not necessarily changed. Real estate investing is extremely chaotic and spontaneous. If an investor is presented with a great deal they need to drop everything and go view the property before another investor purchases the deal. For me this is the chaotic part of the business. Once a property is found everything else seems quite structured and fun. The investor finances, renovates, markets, and sells the property to ultimately earn a profit. The most attractive part of the business for me is the aspect of design involved and the fact you can possibly earn a $50,000 profit in one month.

When I first started the internship Curtis had me start looking at properties online to find comparable properties. Finding comparable properties gives us an idea of what the after renovated value (ARV) would be. I still compre properties, but a few weeks ago I helped Curtis write his business plan which will eventually attract investors for the new micro investment fund. Beyond those tasks Curtis asks for my opinion on colors, ideas for renovating, thoughts on the property, contact realtors in the area, search for potential deals online, create websites, and write about my experiences with the company.

In one month most of my goals I wanted to accomplish have already been accomplished. I still want to create a business plan for myself and learn how to finance my own property. The thing I feel is the greatest accomplishment so far is helping Curtis write his business plan. By having this knowledge of writing a proper business plan is priceless. Without a business plan it’s extremely difficult to get investors who will help finance future projects.

Starting this internship I felt I knew a good amount of information about real estate investing, but once I started learning I realized I didn’t know much at all. The biggest surprise to me was the intense amount of spontaneity in an investor’s day. Every day is different for an investor. I thought each day would be somewhat the same as the day before. This makes the real estate investing profession even more attractive to me because I know each day will bring surprises and excitement.

Even though it has only been one month I’ve learned an immense amount of information. If tomorrow was the last day of my internship I feel I could immediately start writing a business plan for myself. This is the most valuable thing I’ve learned up to this point in the internship.

Every person has their strengths and weaknesses in anything they do.  My strengths are being able to envision the future results without letting anything get in the way, effectively communicate information to others, and stay organized when things are chaotic. Every day I strive to improve myself but the things I need to focus on improving the most are always putting 100% of effort into things and writing excellent professional documents.


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